‘Bridgerton’ season 2’s slowburn is the talk of the ‘ton’


Photo courtesy of @bridgertonnetflix on Instagram.

The Netflix show, “Bridgerton,” released a second season on March 25, 2022. This season featured Anthony Bridgerton, the oldest sibling and head of the Bridgerton household.

By Caitlin Murphy, Assistant Online Editor

Dearest reader, lavish sets, dazzling costumes and a will-they-won’t-they romance can only mean one thing: “Bridgerton” is back. “Bridgerton” has returned with a second season, and it is all anyone can talk about. 

“Bridgerton,” a television series produced by Shonda Rhimes, was first released on Netflix in late 2020 and was met with extremely positive reviews, becoming the most-watched series on Netflix when it premiered. To this day, “Bridgerton” remains the second most-watched series on Netflix. On March 25, “Bridgerton” released its second season, focusing on the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Viscount Anthony Bridgerton.

Based on the popular book series by Julia Quinn, “Bridgerton” follows the lives of the eight Bridgerton siblings, as well as the Featherington family and the rest of London’s nobility. In the book series, each novel focuses on one of the Bridgerton siblings, and if the first two seasons are a preview of what’s to come, the television series will follow the same order as the novels.

In season two, the talk of the “ton” is that Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) intends to find a wife to fulfill his duties as head of the household. When Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) declares Miss Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) the “diamond of the season,” Anthony immediately sets his sights on her as his future wife. However, he will first have to gain the approval of Edwina’s older sister Kate (Simone Ashley), who has an immediate dislike for the Viscount. The line between love and hate is slim, however, because Kate and Anthony soon find themselves in a forbidden romance. Stolen moments and desire grows dangerous, and the decision between following his duty or heart becomes increasingly difficult for Anthony.

At the same time, Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) makes her debut for the social season and her quest to unmask Lady Whistledown grows stronger every day. The noble Featherington family lives on the brink of financial ruin, with Lady Featherington (Polly Walker) doing everything she can, including taking immoral measures, to restore her family’s status. 

It was clear from the first season of Bridgerton that producer Shonda Rhimes would take creative liberty to the Regency Era drama. The second season of Bridgerton presents a refreshing display of inclusivity and representation in the media through the introduction of the Sharma family. The Sharmas, Lady Mary and her daughters Kate and Edwina, enter the show as British nobility who were cast out when Lady Mary married below her social class. However, they return to the London social season looking to marry off Edwina. 

Throughout the show, Indian culture is intertwined subtly and gracefully as a way to highlight traditions without the inclusion seeming forced. From the use of Bollywood music to bangles and Indian fabrics to a traditional Haldi ceremony, Indian culture is displayed in a way that promotes representation while presenting both sisters as beautiful without attempting to westernize them.

Throughout the season, the cast dazzles with impressive acting performances that add depth to their characters. Jonathan Bailey showcases his talents as an actor with purposeful facial expressions and subtle tone changes that convey intricate emotions throughout the season. Claudia Jessie continues to prove her talent as an actress as the show’s progressive feminist in the 1800s Regency Era.

Newcomers Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran both deliver impressive performances, with Ashley being the standout of the season. Ashley embodies Kate’s elegance and maturity while Chandran portrays Edwina’s youth and innocence with optimism and a regal disposition. 

The season two costumes and soundtrack follow the lead of season one with string quartet pop covers of popular songs such as Madonna’s “Material Girl” and Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” and elegant ball gowns with a pastel color palette that follow what Phoebe Dynevor (Daphne Bridgerton) defines as “Regency with a twist” style costumes. Overall the music and costume choices add to the elegant and stylish feel of the show.

While “Bridgerton” season 2 had numerous strengths, that is not to say it does not come with any low points. Specifically, the inclusion of seemingly random storylines such as Colin Bridgerton’s (Luke Newton) lingering feelings for Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker) and the opening of Will Mondrich’s (Martins Imhangbe) new gentleman’s club distract from the overall focus of the season and serve little purpose. 

Overall, “Bridgerton” season two was a massive success, with many stating that it was better than the extremely successful season one. It is no surprise that the show was renewed for at least another two seasons and if the popularity of the first two is any indication, the show will likely have eight seasons, one for each of the Bridgerton siblings.

For those looking to get lost in a dreamy historical romantic drama, “Bridgerton” will surely captivate viewers with its stellar cast, enthralling storyline and swoon-worthy romance.